Pablo Neruda's house, to which I arrived by collectivoI love LA’s metro. Unfortunately, the nearest station is a 20-25 minute walk away, and it’s the most unpleasant walk under highway overpasses and garbage-strewn streets. I’ll take the bus downtown, as it’s an easy 10-15 hop, but forget about taking it to Santa Monica—city buses are not a pleasant, comfortable means to cross a city has large as Los Angeles. Metrolink is great to go to Orange County and the Inland Empire, but it only runs weekdays . . . at rush hour.

We keep discussing ways to deal with traffic—make Pico and Olympic one-way streets, use smart technology to synchronize traffic lights and to give buses a more direct route when traipsing across town. What about using a Latin American approach?

When I visited Chile a few years back, I got around the coast not by bus or taxi, but by collectivo. You stand on the street, hail what looks like a cab, and you pay the driver based on the distance you traveled. Hong Kong has a similar system—called minibuses or maxi taxis.

Why not try an approach like this in LA? Think about it—most commuting, whether for work or for pleasure, occurs on our city’s iconic streets: Sunset, Santa Monica, Beverly, Hollywood, Vermont, Alvarado, Olympic, Wilshire, 3rd, Olympic, Westwood, Western, Fairfax . . . I could go on and on. We could use hybrid or LPG/LNG fueled sedans for a collectivo fleet. If you’re in a bind and don’t want to pay for a taxi, and dread the bus, this could be a great alternative—have dinner on Third Street, then dessert at the Farmer’s Market, followed by karaoke in Koreatown. Let corporations sponsor the cars (we have billboards aplenty anyhow), and figure out the most traveled routes in LA. Perhaps these could go up and down the main drags, or perhaps there’s an often traveled Wilshire/Fairfax/Santa Monica route that we didn’t realize.

Maybe one of the Mayor’s aides can point this out to Antonio has he’s glad handling across our city in his . . . SUV.

Call me crazy, but this could be one part of the trouble to get more cars off of the streets . . . since I think we can’t take the subway to the sea until . . . 2030 . . .

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.